T-Mobile is found guilty (again) of overselling its objectively impressive 5G network

T-Mobile is found guilty (again) of overselling its objectively impressive 5G network
In addition to spending a lot of time hyping up its objectively impressive 5G breakthroughs and expansions over the last year or so, T-Mobile has also had to dedicate a relatively large amount of legal resources to defending some of its most bombastic network marketing claims.

Verizon has been coming at its fast-growing arch-rival from all sides, challenging a number of ads and publicity stunts that tried hard to paint Magenta the picture of a wireless industry innovator, often at the expense of its competitors.

Just a little over a month and a half after the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that T-Mo make some of its 5G advertising less hyperbolic, the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is now urging the "Un-carrier" to discontinue or modify a series of other claims

While the NARB is the appellate advertising law body of the same aforementioned BBB National Programs, ruling on challenges of recommendations made by the NAD, this latest verdict is actually connected to a slightly older matter than the one we first told you about last month.

5G coverage doesn't equal network reliability


The main problem the NARB found with T-Mobile's viral four-minute video starring Bill Nye from all the way back in January are several assertions related to network reliability that can't be independently supported or motivated by hard evidence.


In other words, there simply is no proof (at least not yet) that T-Mo's low-band 5G signal is in any meaningful way more "reliable" than its 4G LTE service or those of the competition. Perhaps more importantly, it's impossible to objectively claim that "no 5G network is more reliable than T-Mobile's 5G network" based on existing data.

Instead, what can be easily determined is that T-Mobile's 5G coverage does indeed surpass the availability of its rivals' fastest cellular networks. As such, Magenta will be allowed to continue touting its superior 5G coverage as long as the nation's second-largest wireless carrier doesn't explicitly assert the "overall superiority" of its next-gen network.

Meanwhile, all "reliability" claims will be discontinued until T-Mobile can prove its "nationwide" 5G service has something else going for it than "just" unrivaled coverage.

Some of T-Mobile's 5G availability claims were also found to be misleading


Although the NARB technically went a little easier on the "Un-carrier" than the NAD, letting the general 5G coverage superiority claims stand, other parts of The Science Guy ad concerning the same broad topic were once again slapped down.

Specifically, no evidence was found (or even presented by T-Mo) that its 5G signal can be regularly and reliably accessed in "cellars, parking garages, elevators, or similar locations" across the nation, thus invalidating the assertion that said service is "generally available in locations that have traditionally been challenging for cellular service."


Last but certainly not least, Magenta was (predictably enough) asked yet again to ditch a dubious demonstration suggesting Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband coverage is limited in many places to the space taken up by a "typical bus bench."

While it's definitely true that the mmWave roots of Big Red's insanely speedy 5G service make it physically impossible for said network to match the towering availability of T-Mobile's low-band 5G connectivity, the bus metaphor is clearly inaccurate, disingenuous, and, well, unnecessarily mean.

To its credit, T-Mo has every intention to comply with the latest NARB recommendations, even though it's not technically legally obligated to do so. Then again, the controversial ad challenged by Verizon is pretty old anyway, so the "Un-carrier" isn't exactly reaping many marketing benefits from it anymore.

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